Award-winning Australian opera singer Lorina Gore might not have ended up on international stages had she not fallen in love with music at church as a child.
“I loved singing the hymns and would instinctively sing harmonies to all the songs. I think it was in church that my parents suspected that music would play a big part in my future,” Lorina tells Warcry.
While she now lights up the stage, delighting audiences as her beautiful soprano voice soars over the orchestra, Lorina says she wouldn’t be the person she is now without the teachings of the Christian faith.
“Those teachings have a huge impact on how I live my life. The stories from the Bible shaped my morality and helped to foster a sense of responsibility to be kind to others,” she reflects.
Lorina has just released her debut album, A Toast to Melba, honouring Australia’s first singing superstar, Dame Nellie Melba, on which she sings the songs that made our first Great Dame famous across the world.
In 2017 she won Australia’s most prestigious performing accolade, a Helpmann Award, for her lead role as Roxana in Opera Australia’s contemporary opera King Roger.
Lorina honed her craft as a student by performing in religious oratorios with choirs and orchestras in Canberra, and she is grateful for the important role that religious music has played in her career.
Singing music that praises God is close to her heart.
“Some of the most divine music has been written to religious texts and, whilst my opera career keeps me very busy, I cherish being able to also perform religious music,” she explains.
So does she have a favourite piece of sacred music she loves to perform?
“Mozart’s Requiem is one of my favourites and I’ve also recently had the pleasure of singing in Handel’s opera Saul at the Sydney Opera House with over 500 singers in the choir for Chorus Oz with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.”
Lorina is also a big fan of The Salvation Army’s work in the community, and has a personal family Salvo connection that makes her very proud.
“My late uncle Christopher Gore worked for the Salvos as a doctor for drug and alcohol services. Sadly, he died last year following a drowning accident. His compassion and care for those he looked after was exemplary, and he was a shining example of the wonderful work that the Salvos do,” Lorina explains.
Lorina says she is blessed with an amazing husband, Jonathan, and their son Joshua, who has a double celebration every 25th December, as he was born on Christmas Day.
“Joshua started to read very early and our neighbour was an Anglican pastor who gave us a beautiful children’s Bible for him. I wanted him to learn the stories from the Bible and know about faith, like I did as a child. He says it helps him when he is sad to have someone to pray to,” Lorina says.
Since returning to Australia in 2008 to take up her dream job as a full-time soloist with Opera Australia, Lorina says she has been blessed to work regularly at the Sydney Opera House, but that she just loves singing, whether it be for thousands of people at Opera in the Domain, or for a small group in a nursing home.
“Music enriches our lives and to be able to share that with people from all walks of life is a special privilege.”
*Lorina Gore’s album A Toast to Melba is reviewed on mini review